New Zealand Government to repeal Electoral Finance Act

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Zealand's National-led government will repeal the Electoral Finance Act by February next year, according to Justice Minister Simon Power.

"As part of its first 100 days’ commitment the Government intends to repeal the Electoral Finance Act 2007 and replace it with an interim regime by 26 February 2009", Power said. However, the precise date would depend on the cooperation of other parties in the House.

The promise was made in Parliament yesterday in response to a question from ACT MP John Boscawen.

The Electoral Finance Act was passed in 2007 by the then-Labour government. It requires greater transparency around donations to political parties and places a financial cap on "third party" campaigning by other groups. Opponents of the law consider it a serious restriction of civil liberties, and further consider that spending private money on political campaigning is a democratic right. National promised to repeal the law during the recent election campaign.

Parliament is expected to begin next year's sitting on February 10, 2009. Given the tight deadline, the repeal will almost certainly be conducted under urgency and without a select committee phase.

The National government has come under fire in recent days for its use of urgency to pass bills without sending them to select committee.

Sources

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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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